Hearing about some of the instances where a doctor or medical facility has hurt a patient may make you angry and even fearful that the same will happen to you. While it’s true that some mistakes occur, not all of them meet the threshold of medical malpractice.

The first thing that must be determined in a malpractice case with the help of a lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer, is whether the defendant is guilty of negligent behavior or actions that directly led to the patient’s condition. Once this can be proven, a lawsuit is generally filed on behalf of the patient. Take a look at four examples of medical mistakes that may meet this legal standard of negligence.


The most common reason for a defendant to file a malpractice suit is a misdiagnosis. This can either be due to a failure to diagnose correctly or a wrong diagnosis being made. While a doctor may miss something, in some cases, the indicators pointing to the proper diagnosis are present. If a doctor is found to have rejected a diagnosis even with evidence or ignored the patient’s self-reporting of symptoms, which pointed to the right diagnosis, that doctor is negligent.

Wrong Medication Dispensed

Charting in medical settings is crucial. It is the one way all medical personnel communicates and passes vital information along about patients. Every person encountering a patient should review the medical chart to ensure they follow the treatment plan. The chart includes allergies, drugs prescribed and doses administered. A mismarked chart could have serious consequences, especially when dispensing medication. Charting errors, therefore, may meet the malpractice benchmark.

Birth Injuries

Staff who help a woman give birth have to be attentive to both baby and mother. Warning signs of distress may come on strong, or they may be harder to detect. In most cases, however, there are signs that something is not right. Doctors and nurses who ignore the signs of fetal or maternal stress may be found negligent should the baby be injured during birth. The trauma of the situation is bad enough, but when warnings get ignored, the effects on a baby or mother may be life-lasting and even fatal.

Surgical Error

Surgical errors may get the most attention in the media, and sometimes rightfully so. Medical malpractice cases dealing with doctors who remove the wrong organ, or make an incision in the wrong area seem to be the most egregious. Even with the checks and balances, doctors and hospitals have in place to prevent errors, they still occur. Negligence in the operating can and does happen.

Medical malpractice claims may seem frivolous to some, but to the plaintiff, the money recovered may be life-saving. If a doctor is negligent and injury results, a patient should get assistance.